An Art Deco-inspired casino – built from scratch in the main hall of the Grand Palais – set the stage for the Fall-Winter 2015/16 Haute Couture collection, replete with slot machines and roulette and blackjack tables manned by croupiers. Meandering through this chic Cercle Privé casino were a selection of handpicked guests, with Karl Lagerfeld adding to the excitement by inviting A-lister friends of the house (around 20 in total) to sit at tables in the casino’s center. Kristen Stewart led the way, followed by Julianne Moore, Geraldine Chaplin, Isabelle Huppert, Rita Ora, Stella Tennant, Lara Stone and Lily Collins. Joining them were Vanessa Paradis, accompanied by her daughter Lily-Rose Depp, Alice Dellal and Violette d'Urso.

Dressed in Chanel and sporting exquisite platinum and diamond creations from the re-issue of the house’s 1932 “Bijoux de Diamants” collection - the only high jewelry collection ever created by Gabrielle Chanel - they were the epitome of elegance as they embraced the gambling spirit. Ever the perfectionist, Chanel ensured no detail was spared for this ephemeral game space: the slot machines sported references to 31 rue Cambon, Camellias and Mademoiselle Chanel’s fetish numbers (5 in particular); locked-Cs came interspersed with playing card motifs to form a monogram on the geometric gray and beige carpet.

If the chic and cozy atmosphere of Chanel’s Cercle Privé casino appeared to be suspended in time, the 67 looks revealed by models walking in amongst the gamblers were undeniably of the now.

Karl Lagerfeld once again proves himself a visionary by combining new technology with the traditional know-how of Haute Couture. The house’s iconic suit comes revisited in a sumptuous 3D version showcasing the “Selective Laser Sintering” technique. Painted, beaded, satin-lined or edged with leather, it sets the tone for Haute Couture’s future, with no room for nostalgia. From architectural and graphic silhouettes punctuated with masculine details for the day to sumptuous evening looks with asymmetric lines, airy fabrics and a sophisticated palette, the Fall-Winter 2015/16 Haute Couture collection encompasses the boundless creative force of Chanel.

Françoise-Claire Prodhon